Population: 59 million, over 60 per cent live in urban areas.
Political structure: A democratic republic with a president and prime minister. The country is divided into 20 regions. Italy is a member of the European Union and a member of the eurozone. The capital is Rome. The official language is Italian but French and German are also spoken in northern parts of the country.
Economy: About 66 per cent of the population work in services, 29 per cent in industry and the remainder in agriculture. The government has been working to increase competition and make the public sector more efficient.
Italy’s major exports are machinery and mechanical equipment, transport equipment, basic and fabricated metals and chemicals. Exports of food, beverage and tobacco and of textiles are also important. Major imports are energy, chemicals and metals.
The top three trading partners for exports are Germany, France and Spain and for imports are Germany, France and China.